Council helps neighbours protect crops and keep pests down

06 September 2022

Ipswich does not have a rampant rabbit problem thanks to the 555km of a rabbit-proof fence from Mt Gipps near Rathdowney to Goombi on the outskirts of Chinchilla, which passes Ipswich about 40km south of Boonah.

Members of the Darling Downs-Moreton Rabbit Board have met with Ipswich City Council to provide an update on what is being done to keep rabbit numbers low ahead of the pest’s peak breeding cycle.

Division 4 Councillor Kate Kunzelmann, Ipswich City Council’s representative on the board, said the fence and monitoring of places where rabbits can breed protect our vital agriculture.

“The La Nina weather pattern has resulted in increased rainfall across the South East, meaning there is more vegetation and therefore more rabbits” Cr Kunzelmann said.

“The spring breeding cycle will start soon, and ideal breeding conditions pose a real threat to the environment and crops.

“A survey of rural properties In Ipswich by the Rabbit Board in 2021 found 87 properties with rabbit warrens, so we know they exist.”

Rabbits were released by early settlers in Victoria in the 1800s and quickly spread across the country.

Council contributes to the upkeep of the fence ensuring waterways are not further degraded by rabbit activity on the banks.

Cr Kunzelmann said the Board does an outstanding job of controlling rabbit numbers throughout South East Queensland by educating landholders on their obligations and providing help through education on destruction of warrens and other controls.

“Rabbits not only destroy local crops but also damage waterways flowing into the Ipswich catchment and can destroy farm structures by burrowing under the foundations,” Cr Kunzelmann said.

“The Board was able to re-assure us fence upgrades and maintenance were a priority ahead of the rabbit breeding season and work will continue with rural property owners in Ipswich to help them identify and remove rabbit warrens.”